Do Muslim women living in non-Muslim countries face discrimination? They certainly do. The fact of the matter is they face discrimination in Muslim countries as well. Heck, women face discrimination for the mere fact that they are women in most countries of the world.
I ask you, nevertheless, this: Do Muslim women living in non-Muslim countries face discrimination wherever they go and from most everyone? Absolutely not. Neither do women generally.
The Huffington Post published an article a few days ago written by a young Muslim woman who wears the hijab. Because of the very cold weather in the U.S., she added a knit hat over her head and a scarf around her neck that virtually hid her hijab underneath. In the article, reprinted from her blog, she explains how differently she felt people treated her. The Muslim taxi drivers were “cold and dry”. She was not acknowledged by her fellow hijabis the way she was accustomed to. On the other end, [non-Muslim] women started talking to her as if she’d “known them forever.” And men looked at her as if she was “approachable”.
I had never realized that with my hijab, I am given less respect and love and am not as accepted. I had always thought that the type of treatment I am exposed to is just how the world is. I didn’t know that people could be nicer.
I have no desire to undermine this woman’s experiences or how she analysed them. Her experiences are her own. My personal experiences, however, and thus my opinions on the matter, are very very different. (more…)